The World Health Organization (WHO) Ethiopia’s Country Office hosted the Inter country, capacity building workshop for the National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) of the host Ethiopia, Lesotho, Namibia, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Somalia from the WHO EMRO Region. The NITAG’s capacity building workshop was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 11 to 15 December 2023.
The overall objective of the workshop was to strengthen NITAGs members and secretariats of participating countries on the evidence to recommendation process in immunization and on the NITAG operations. The specific objectives were to reinforce NITAG members’ capacities on roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and mode of operations of an efficient NITAG, to orient on NITAG maturity tool use and share experience across the region for peer-to-peer learning, to develop evidence-based recommendation using standard guidance and tools and to share experience among NITAGs on operations and evidence to recommendation process.
The National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) are bodies composed of independent national experts tasked with advising national health authorities and national immunization programmes on immunization policies and strategies. These advisory bodies provide country-specific recommendations to political authorities, ministries of health and immunization programmes, based on evidence available at the national, regional, and international levels. NITAGs can also be leveraged as an advocacy tool for informed stakeholder engagement in standard Immunization policy design and immunization strategies, as well as for partners supporting these strategies in countries.
As of end June 2023, the member states from 42 countries in the WHO region have established a NITAG. However, the 2022 WHO-UNICEF Estimates of National Immunization Coverage (WUENIC) reported that 31 members states have a functional NITAG (as at end 2022).